Is man doomed to his destiny?
Man was sent to this world for a test. Man will receive either award or punishment in return for his deeds. Such award or punishment definitely necessitates man to be free to do deeds. Our fair Lord shows man the way of goodness and evil but He lets man choose one of these ways. We will affirm our statement with two verses from the Holy Quran:
"Say: "O ye men! Now Truth hath reached you from your Lord! Those who receive Guidance, do so for the good of their own souls; those who stray, do so to their own loss." (Yunus: 108)
"And say: The Truth is from your Lord so let him who please believe, and let him who please disbelieve." (al-Kahf:29)
As it can be seen, man is not forced by Allah Almighty to go to one of the good or bad ways. Allah showed the two ways to man; and man became free to go to either of the ways. Besides, everybody knows by conscience that they are free in their actions. Man himself is a witness that he can do anything he wants without being under pressure and influence. For example, when man wants to lift up his hand, he can lift up his hand. When he wants to walk, he can walk. A person who wants to go to mosque can go to mosque; a person who wants to go to a casino can go to the casino. Neither the feet of the man going to mosque, nor the feet of the man going to the casino says, “I do not want to go there". Therefore, a person who is asked earnestly to use his body legitimately but uses the bounty of the body entrusted to him in order to commit sins has no excuse. He will be held responsible because he uses his free will in a bad way.
Does a person claiming that he sins because of being a prisoner of fate call it destiny when another man sins?
For example, a man says he steals due to being a prisoner of fate. Another thief enters this man's house and that thief starts to collect the valuable things; the owner of the house asks the thief what he is doing, the thief says: "I am a prisoner of fate. In my fate, theft is written. I will do it willy-nilly". Does the owner of the house allow the thief to steal his valuable things?
Suppose that a man claims that he is a murderer because of being a prisoner of fate. If his child is killed by another man and if the killer says: "I did it because this is written in my fate." How will the man whose child was killed react to the murderer?
Moreover, thinking that man is a prisoner of fate leads us to many dilemmas. In other words, if man was a prisoner of fate, the thief would steal because of destiny and the murderer would kill for the same reason. However, it would remove responsibility; so, Allah would act unjustly toward His servants. However, man is not a being whose feet are tied with a stone and who is thrown into the sea and then who is addressed, "get rid of this bad situation." By saying: "I am prisoner of fate", man blames destiny because of his sin. In fact, by saying so, man commits a major crime because he blames Allah and attributes oppression to Allah, who has endless justice. However, Allah is absolutely fair and is free from being unfair.
In addition, if man was a prisoner of fate, to command goodness, to ban evil, to reward people who obey Allah and to punish people who disobey Allah would be meaningless. Everyone would live in the way that had been written in destiny. For example, a person praying Allah would pray because praying had been written in the destiny. Similarly, a person who sins would sin because, according to this understanding, to sin had been written in the destiny of him. Therefore, sending prophets holy books to guide people would become meaningless because the advice to the people who were prisoners of their fate would not affect them.
Furthermore, in many verses in the Holy Quran, Allah calls the servants to repent. If man sinned because of being a prisoner of fate, would the call to repent be meaningful?
Another explanation showing why man is not a prisoner of fate is the fact that he is not asked to perform some kind of worship that he cannot fulfill and he is not held responsible for the things that he cannot do. If man were a prisoner of fate, such a distinction would not be made and everyone would become responsible under every condition. Regarding the rights belonging to Allah, the conditions abrogating the responsibility of people are as follows: Madness, dementia, forgetfulness, coercion and mistakes.
As a result, the deeds that are done in those cases are not voluntary deeds. Therefore, in this case, man does not become responsible. If man were a prisoner of fate, these cases would not be excluded from responsibility. Everyone, without excluding clever, forgetful, sleeping, mistaken people, would become responsible.
Allah Almighty forgives the servant who sins because of others' threats and coercions. However, when man is forgiven by such a merciful being, is it not something that deprives him of mercy to indict the mercy of Allah by saying: "You determined my fate; then, why do you punish me?"
- Is man doomed to his destiny?
- Is committing suicide present in the destiny of a person?
- If what we are going to do is determined in our fate, what is our fault? If Allah knows whether we are going to enter Heaven or Hell, why did He send us down to Earth?
- If everything is determined in our fate, why did Allah send us down to earth for testing? Does He not already know everything? He could have sent us to Heaven or Hell without testing, too; why did He not do so?
- What is the meaning of "goodness comes from Allah and badness comes from His servants"?
- Can I have a chance to select or change the person whom I am going to marry by praying?
- Prophet Yusuf [Joseph] (Peace be upon him)
- 6. Destiny
- Knowledge is dependent on the known- Is Man a Prisoner of Qadar (Destiny)?
- To what extent do we have power/will on our lives?